Websites are the central online marketing hubs for companies and causes alike.
They are prime space for everything from detailing products and services to housing announcements and accolades. For those searching online for a provider, vendor, partner or the like, they also make that all important “first impression.” The question is: Is your current website making a strong (and accurate) first impression?
If you’re debating whether it’s time to invest in a new website – as opposed to undertaking a content refresh – take time to evaluate the following…
Are the pathways clear?
What do you want visitors to do once they land on your homepage? Is it clear where they should click to learn more, be social, make contact, take action and the list goes on.
Creating clear pathways requires not only a carefully crafted site map, including main and secondary navigation, but incorporating compelling calls to action throughout one’s site.
If navigating through your site’s content isn’t an intuitive process – and/or you have really high bounce rates – it is likely time to invest in redesigning your website.
Where you are…where you’re headed
Companies and causes evolve. Missions and visions shift. Does your current website communicate where you started, what you’ve accomplished along the way and where you’re going in the future?
While these changes can often be addressed by refreshing and refining your website content, ensuring the visual identity and overall branding of your website are aligned with the here and now is also critically important. Related, as audiences expand and evolve, it’s vital to ensure your content speaks to the needs of these visitors and effectively communicates how your company or cause can help to solve their challenges, improve their experiences and bolster their bottom lines.
Keeping it fresh
(Long) gone are the days when websites essentially functioned as the online counterpart to a static brochure. Enter the need for new, high-quality, relevant content on a consistent basis.
If your website’s homepage is currently occupied with predominantly – or entirely –static content, it may be time to invest in a redesign. Incorporating features such as homepage sliders, social media feeds, news feeds, photo galleries and video streams can help visitors to see how active your company or cause truly is.
(How) has your competitors’ marketing evolved?
Keeping an eye on the competition makes good business sense. You wouldn’t want to book your signature fundraiser or annual conference for the same day as your biggest competitor and, likewise, you don’t want an online presence that is difficult to distinguish from the competition.
If your website isn’t generating the volume of leads you anticipated, your online brand feels lost in a sea of sameness and/or if your competition is pushing a message that is inhibiting your online successes, it may be time to invest in a new website.
While building a new website requires looking at one’s brand with a critical eye and reevaluating how best to communicate with and engage online audiences with both language and visuals, a well-structured and creatively designed website can generate qualified business leads, bolster online donations and function as the driving force behind an organization’s online marketing program.